God is establishing something new with us. If you can get it, you will be amazed at the difference you find in yourself, in the way you think, the way you believe in the Lord, the way you know who He is and who you are in your relationship to Him. You are not just a Christian. You’re not just one who has been called to something. I am looking for us to come into the awareness that God has made a covenant with us. When He makes a covenant it is like being sealed; it is like a destiny. God doesn’t break His covenants!
When God makes a covenant with you, nothing can change that covenant. The entire Bible is talking about that. Romans 8:38-39 says: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing can cut you off from the love of Christ! Nothing! How many times have you gotten hit with condemnation and felt like God has left you? That old human nature you have is where unbelief breeds, and you become so aware of what you are in your flesh. God is trying to tell us that what you are in your flesh nature has nothing to do with this thing – I have made a covenant with you!
Now why did God choose Jacob? Before they were ever born He said, Jacob I loved; Esau I hated (Romans 9:11-13). God made a choice and when you realize that you are one in whom God has made a choice, nobody can change His choice. We must have a revelation of our relationship with God. “Gosh, I know what I am. Doesn’t God know that?” Yes, He knows that. He knew what you were before He ever called you, but He made a choice. He made a choice with Jacob, knowing he would be a scoundrel. There were times when God met him, but the big change took place when Jacob crossed over the brook Jabbok and wrestled with the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 32:22-32). The name Jacob means “guile,” and the name Jabbok means “to empty”. The guile was emptied out and he became an Israel. God crippled him that day, but Jacob limped away a new man because God had made a covenant him.
This is so foundational and so familiar that if you’re not careful, you’ll miss it. There is another level of believing God. We all say, “I believe God.” Yes, it is easy to believe that God can do; it’s not so easy to believe that He will. We are talking about coming to a place where you believe that He is. Jesus prayed, “I thank You, Father, for I know that You hear Me always. But for these people who are standing about, I make this prayer” (John 11:41-43). Then Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” There is a Lazarus in you that is in bondage, too. You wrestle with the Lord, you try to serve God and walk with Him, and you are faced with limitation after limitation, unbelief after unbelief. But there is a Lazarus coming forth, a new life, and we are taking off the grave clothes, and coming into a relationship with the Lord we haven’t had before. It is a relationship beyond anything we have known. We didn’t ask for it and we didn’t expect it, but it is happening because God made a choice.
Let’s look at a few verses of Scripture starting in Matthew.
Matthew 13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house and sat by the sea side.
Jesus came out of the house. Matthew is talking about the spiritual house where Jesus is dwelling with the Father. It is a place of anointing and authority; it is a higher realm of spirit. Jesus comes out of the house to minister to the multitude on a lower level.
Matthew 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
The ship, or boat, in the Scriptures represents the church, the body of Christ. The ark that Noah was in represents the church as it was going through the tribulation waters from one age to a new age (Genesis 7). So Jesus came out of the house, this particular place of anointing, to minister to the multitude.
Matthew 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow.
Are you familiar with the parable of the sower? You understand it, don’t you? The people listening to Jesus probably thought they understood, too. After all, they were an agricultural people. They planted their crops, so they knew about the procedure in agriculture and farming. It wasn’t hard for them to understand about the sower sowing the seed. The ground where the seed fell would determine whether it grew as it should. That isn’t hard for someone to understand, least of all for those who plant. Nevertheless, Jesus said, “If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.” Saying that meant they needed the spiritual capacity to hear and understand what He was saying on another level.
Matthew 13:9-10 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?
Although the people understood the principles of farming, they did not understand the mystical nature of what Jesus was really saying. The disciples knew that and asked Jesus why He was speaking to them in parables.
Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
That is the same thing as choosing Jacob and not choosing Esau. It is given by God. “It is God’s choice that you know what I’m talking about here. It is not God’s choice for them to know. It is given for you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” In other words, it is given for you to know the mysteries of another world because that is what Jesus is really talking about – the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven. Remember, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” It is another world, the world of God.
Matthew 13:12 For whosoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has.
If you walk in what you know, then what you know will increase. If you don’t use what you know, you are going to lose it. Use it or lose it – you’ve heard that before. I made good grades in French and Latin when I was in high school, but don’t ask me to say anything. I haven’t used it and what I knew I lost a long time ago. Do you see what Jesus is talking about here?
Matthew 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
In other words, they can hear and see but they are not seeing and hearing this. They have the natural ability to see and to hear, but they don’t have the spiritual capacity to see and to hear.
Matthew 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive.
God didn’t want them to understand. “Well, that seems a little hard. Why couldn’t God just intervene and miraculously give them the capacity to hear?” Here’s the reason: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed. Matthew 13:15a. “Why didn’t God just create a good heart?” Well, He made a choice. But I want you to get this – He chooses for some people to hear and there are some He just does not choose for them to hear. “Explain that.” Well, I’m sorry. I can’t explain that to you. You seek the Lord and ask Him about it. The people had a hard heart and God was going to let it stay hard. He is God; He can do that.
Matthew 13:14-16 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, By
hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and
shall not perceive:
15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross… (In the original Greek, it says “made fat.” A fat heart is one that is dull. It doesn’t have the sensitivity; it is calloused.)… and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Now what had these disciples done that their eyes could see and be blessed? Probably they hadn’t done anything. It was God’s choice. In fact I have a feeling that when Jesus said, Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear, the disciples didn’t really see or hear. When God speaks, His Word is creative. He calls those things which are not as though they were (Romans 4:17).
Matthew 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them.
I can just see those disciples saying, “What did we hear? What is He talking about? What did we see that the prophets of old wanted to see and didn’t?” When the Lord speaks, He is creating it. Maybe you’re not aware of it yet. He says, “You see; you have a heart to see,” and right at the moment He says that it may be as dull as any can be, but because the Lord spoke it something is set in motion and your heart is being created. It is because of the choice He makes.
In the next verses, Jesus begins to explain what the parable meant. Now let’s look at verse 36.
Matthew 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and His disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
The disciples didn’t understand the parable of the tares either. It is agricultural, too. The wheat comes up and the tares are mixed in with it. The tares look just like wheat until it matures. The tares don’t have a head as wheat does and it remains sticking up; the wheat bends or bows because of the weight of the heads. The tares are prideful and arrogant; they have to be taken out at the end of the age. The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus was saying in this parable. At this point they didn’t understand any more than the multitude. We don’t either. Have you struggled with the Word, to understand? “God, what are You saying?” Have you struggled to try to find the path that God wants you to walk? “I don’t know what choice to make here, Lord! What am I supposed to do? Which way am I supposed to go? How am I to think about this?” All this time your flesh nature is speaking loudly to you and you are trying to find out what God wants. But, I tell you, when you are aware that God has chosen you and has made this covenant with you, it is like a sealed destiny. He doesn’t go back on His covenant! You say, “But what if I go awry, go astray and fall into sin?” Well, God will spank your backside, that’s what. He is going to deal with you, but because of the covenant He is not going to turn His lovingkindness away from you.
I was talking to a Baptist preacher one time and he said, “Once saved, always saved. You could go back into sin and live like the devil and God will call you back before it’s too late.” I don’t believe that for a skinny minute, and that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about a people with whom God has made a covenant. Do you think for a moment that Abraham could have missed God completely? No, because God made a covenant with him and He dealt with Abraham and led him. There were separations Abraham had to go through; he was separated from his father Terah, separated from Haran, separated from Lot, and other separations. God was separating him from other things and bringing him into a place where he was focused on the Lord. He was God’s man! God dealt with Jacob, too. That scoundrel would bargain with anybody and take them for a ride, but God dealt with him because He had already made a decision.
Now you have to know, “Has God made this kind of covenant with me?” Well, God has made a covenant with the Body of Christ. If you want to be in His covenant I would suggest you get into the Body of Christ. We’re not talking about something that is handed out to anybody that wants a free ride. “Well, I pay my tithes, I go to church and I do this and I do that. I must be doing all right.” Not necessarily. That is not the same thing that we are talking about. It is one thing to be a disciple; it’s another thing to be a disciple. I’ll explain what I mean by that. Let’s look at verse 36 again.
The disciples didn’t understand the parable of the wheat and the tares so Jesus explained it to them. That’s pretty much where we are. “I don’t understand.” Well, don’t get too distraught over the fact that you don’t understand. “Lord, explain this to me.” Realize that if you are a disciple, He is going to explain it to you. Now, if you don’t really know who you are, you don’t really know whether God has made that covenant with you or not, then you may not know if He will explain to you. Do you understand what I am saying? I’m talking about a revelation of who you are in your relationship with the Lord. God makes a covenant with His chosen people.
John 15:1 I am the true vine…
Jesus is the true vine. Now He can’t be the true vine unless there is also a false vine. There is a false vine and there is a true vine – both of them are Christians. A vineyard was planted on a very fruitful hill. He threw out all the stones, built a winepress in it, and a tower. Lo and behold, it produced wild grapes. What more could I have done (Isaiah 5)? But Jesus says, “I am the true vine.” Are you? “Well, I want to be a part of the true vine, but I know what my nature is.” Regardless of what your nature is this is the time to know whether you are part of the true vine. Do you follow what I am saying? Who are you going to believe? Are you going to believe your antichrist nature or are you going to believe God?
Back in Genesis God made a covenant with Abraham. I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Genesis 17:7. “This is the covenant I am making with you.” Abraham believed God and God counted it for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). He lied about Sarah being his sister and will lie about it again. Abraham still had some problems, but he believed God. Can you believe God in spite of what your flesh nature says you are? Get into this covenant with Abraham.
John 15:1-3 I am the true vine, and My Father is the Husbandman.
2 Every branch in Me that bears not fruit He takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
The disciples probably didn’t feel very clean and the Word that cleansed them was probably the Word He was speaking right at that moment.
John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me.
There have been many Christians upon hearing a commandment of the Lord such as “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 19:2) that began trying to be holy. They cannot do it. What God is really saying is, “Because I am holy, I can make you holy. Because I am fruitful, I can make you fruitful.” You cannot do it in yourself. God is not asking you to do anything. “Well, I’ve got to overcome these habits.” God is not asking you to do anything. God is asking you to believe that He can do it. “How can I overcome this habit I have? How can I take care of this flesh nature, this thing that is bothering me constantly? How many times have I been defeated by it!” Well, quit fighting it and believe God, believe in the covenant that He has made with you. Abide in Him! If you abide in Him, you are abiding in the victory.
John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches…
Now the branches and the vine are so one you can’t tell where the vine stops and the branches start. Jesus is creating oneness here – I am the vine, you are the branches. Do you know you are one with the Vine? You cannot bear fruit if you don’t know you are one of the branches.
John 15:5-7 …he that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much
fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.
6 If a man abides not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.
Religious folks can come up with a lot of reasons why they are not getting what they are asking. I’ve heard preachers say that God always answers prayers – sometimes He says “yes,” sometimes He says “no,” sometimes He says “wait awhile.” Abide in the Vine! Find that abiding place in God and ask what you will. When you have entered into the Vine, you have entered into the will of God.
Verse eight is what I was talking about when I said it is one thing to be a disciple; it’s another thing to be a disciple. In other words, there is a disciple and then there is a disciple on a higher level.
John 15:8 Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples.
Now, who is Jesus talking to? He is talking to His disciples. He says, “If you abide in Me and bear much fruit, then you shall be My disciples.” In other words, you are a disciple now, but you are going to become a disciple in the realm of the covenant, in a realm where things are finalized, in a realm where you are not wondering if you are going to make it. You will not wonder if you are good enough because you know that you’re not good enough. Do you understand what I am saying? There is a covenant that God makes and it is His choice. You realize you didn’t do anything. “I’m not worthy.” Of course, you’re not worthy but God makes a choice. He chooses a people. You become My disciples!”
John 15:9 As the Father hath loved Me, so have I love you: continue ye in My love.
God help us to have this revelation. He has chosen to love you. He didn’t say, “I’m going to love you until you blow it again. Then I might not love you anymore.” No, He sets His love and He won’t take it back. Don’t cut yourself off from the Lord because He isn’t going to. He won’t break that covenant with you.
John 15:11-12 These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in
you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is My commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.
Have you ever tried to love others? How many times have you failed at that? There is a relationship, God’s love takes over your life and flows through you by the choice that He has made.
John 15:13, 16 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life
for his friends.
16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you…
These smelly fishermen weren’t worthy of anything, no more than any of us are worthy but He made a choice. Jesus said, “You didn’t choose Me, but I chose you.” In the Old Testament, God reached into the land of Ur of Chaldees and chose a man, a worshiper of idols, and said, “I will make a great nation of you.” He reaches down and chooses.
John 15:16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you…
There is a destiny, a sealing that takes place. We are being sealed by the Spirit of promise.
John 15:16-17 … that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit
should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My name, He may
give it to you.
17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
We loose the revelation of the covenant that God makes with His chosen. I don’t think anyone will walk out of here boasting about being one of the chosen of the Lord, “He made a covenant with me,” because when you do that He didn’t really make one with you. He doesn’t choose the proud and the arrogant, but He chooses the lowly ones, the ones who know they are not anything.
Copyright © 2006 by Henry DuBose